This pedagogical article discusses sources and methods for teaching the history of imperial science and medicine in the Nahua world from 1400 to 1600, a period that ranges from the spectacular growth of the Aztec Empire through the conquest to the creation of New Spain. By providing students tools to explore non-European ontologies and world-building, this article presents several exercises in which students act as archival researchers and themselves puzzle out the complexities of information transfer in the archive of sixteenth-century Latin America. Combining European paleography workshops, linguistic tools pioneered by the IDIEZ Nahuatl program, the study of Mesoamerican archeological objects, and an engagement with Mexican medicinal plants to recreate early modern remedies, students gain access to a world of New Spanish knowledge-creation.
Research Article| September 03 2019
Teaching Tepahtia: A Pedagogical Reflection on Knowledge and Medicine in Mexico, 1400-1600
Mackenzie Cooley is an Assistant Professor of History at Hamilton College where she teaches the history of science in early modern empires. She earned her doctorate from Stanford University and is a member of the Cornell University Society of Fellows as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow. Cooley studied Nahuatl in the IDIEZ Program through the University of Utah, and with research support from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Fulbright Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Renaissance Society of America. Her dissertation won the 2019 Cappadocia Prize for best unpublished manuscript.
Journal of Medieval Worlds (2019) 1 (3): 85–104.
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Mackenzie Cooley; Teaching Tepahtia: A Pedagogical Reflection on Knowledge and Medicine in Mexico, 1400-1600. Journal of Medieval Worlds 3 September 2019; 1 (3): 85–104. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jmw.2019.130005
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